What’s More Prevalent, Addiction or Mental Health Disorders?

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Last Updated on April 27, 2021 by

Mental Health Disorders are commonly interconnected with some kind of addiction which can be chemical dependency or behavioural dependency. Infections are most likely to grow under the skin that has been penetrated or ripped as a result of an accident. This is a simple state to fix because the wound must occur first in order for the infection to have space to expand.  However, where an individual has both a psychological disorder and a dependency, the Dual Diagnosis problem can be a bit more difficult to crack. In certain cases, opioid abuse takes prominence. In certain cases, the emotional wellbeing issue is the most important factor. Drug addiction has an effect on certain people. Other people are most influenced by psychological illnesses. The level of severe major depression is increasing among youth in the U.S., where the rate is 9.7%, up from 9.2% in last year’s dataset. The rate is highest among those of multiracial descent with a 12.4% rate.

If somebody develops an undiagnosed psychiatric condition he or she can self-medicate with illegal substances in an effort to relieve the illnesses.  Individuals are more inclined to take this path if they have insufficient access to treatment, yet anyone will develop addiction. First, illegal drugs can appear to ease psychological disease symptoms

Undiagnosed mental health diseases often lead to people self-medicating with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to treat their symptoms. People with limited access to healthcare are more likely to follow this route, but any individual can suffer an addiction. Street drugs may initially seem to alleviate mental health disorders symptoms. Here are a few samples of what I mean: Patients that have not been identified with mental illnesses may switch to illicit drugs in case if they can not get treatment through the prescribed medical outlets. If these pharmaceutical medications are not taken under medical care, they may be dangerous. Depression, schizophrenia – Alcohol, prescribed anti-depressants, and benzodiazepines can help to alleviate these psychological issues. Opioids, such as pain medications, are also effective at reducing anxiety and stress, as well as promoting comfort. Sadly, relief is just temporary. The signs of addiction can become stronger with time.

How to Deal with Mental Health Disorders When it Comes First?

Writers of an essay published in the American Journal of Psychiatry propose that patients with severe psychiatric illnesses utilize medications of addiction as a means of treatment. They carefully select their drugs, searching for compounds that will help them cope with the challenging effects they face on a regular basis. Such researchers agree that those with anger problems might turn to opiate drugs because they are calming and addictive, whereas someone with anxiety may enjoy the mood booster cocaine provides.

Whereas these consumers can believe they are making informed choices about their drug usage, they are relying on drugs that are highly addictive that may exacerbate the effects of the psychiatric disease they were intended to treat. An individual suffering from depression, for example, can experience feelings of distress as a result of low dopamine output. Consuming heroin on a daily basis reduces dopamine output, even more, putting the user in an even deeper state of anxiety. The psychiatric condition came first for someone like this, but the abuse just makes matters harder.

If you are already at risk of having a mental health condition, drug abuse could be the tipping point. Genetics, climate, and other external factors may all increase the likelihood of having a mental disorder. Surprisingly, these same factors may increase the likelihood of developing an addiction. Assume you are suffering from mild depression before beginning to use. Substance abuse may initially make you feel better, but it will ultimately make you even more depressed than you were before. Because many people with mild depression go undiagnosed, the condition can appear to be the result of addiction. In reality, it may have been lurking beneath the surface for a long time. Addiction pushes you to the brink of insanity.

Those who suffer from addiction are the ones who use substances to satisfy a physical need. In this sense, addiction is like a symptom, not a disease. The main difference between addiction and mental health disorders is that one can develop severe depression or other psychological severe disorders and addiction. The addict may go through withdrawal and will need professional help. However, there are some similarities between addiction and mental health disorders. One is that recovery from addiction is much more complex than recovery from mental health diseases. Another similarity is that the cause of the addiction often has a lot to do with self-destructive behaviour and dysfunctional thinking patterns. Most addicts have come to realize that their habits have gotten them into a very unhealthy situation. When they attempt to give up drugs or alcohol, they do so in a way that reinforces their original problem. 

There is another explanation for this issue in so many people with co-occurring diseases, aside from self-medicating. Addiction and mental health disorders both include some of the same brain areas. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that communicates between neurons. Depression is linked to low dopamine levels. High levels, such as those found in prescription painkillers or heroin, are linked to feelings of euphoria. When someone with low levels experiences the dopamine rush that comes with the first few doses of opioids, he or she is more likely to become addicted. Over time, everybody develops a tolerance to opioids and needs more to feel euphoric. Most people are already addicted and unable to quit by that point.

When Addiction Takes Priority

Although addictions may exacerbate an existing psychiatric disorder, certain individuals only experience signs of mental health disorders after modifying their brain cells with narcotics. People who misuse marijuana are particularly vulnerable to this issue. Individuals who are reliant on marijuana also have other Psychological problems, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

  • Anxiety Problems
  • Feeling Extreme Energy Levels
  • Mood disturbances
  • Maniac Depression


However, evidence indicates that individuals with a family history of schizophrenia and a proclivity to develop the disorder may feel that marijuana usage triggers their mental health disorders, according to the NIDA. In other terms, the medication seems to carry the condition to light, and patients who undergo this schizophrenia awakening would never previously encountered the full intensity of the disorder until they ingested weed. The medication has the ability to fully enslave them to the disease.

Addiction is simply dependence on something harmful. To recover from an addiction, the individual must learn new ways of looking at things, thinking about things, and using his or her imagination. In mental health disorders, a mental health professional will often recommend that individuals suffering from addiction seek treatment. It is not uncommon for mental health professionals to refer their patients to addiction specialists because addiction is often a symptom of other underlying conditions. Whether you choose to admit it or not, you need to ask yourself, “What comes first: addiction or mental health disorders?” If you are still struggling to find the answer to this question, take some time to consider the lifestyle you live every day and the impact that your addiction has had on it. With a bit of effort, you can discover the difference between the two and determine which is more important to you. 

The physical effects of addiction can be pretty serious. When someone suffers from extreme cravings, they often require medication to quell their appetite. Unfortunately, the medications many turn to for addiction do not treat their underlying mental health disorders, and in some cases, addiction may eventually lead to complete depression.

Other medications may also induce certain chemical modifications, which may contribute to mental health diseases. Those who use psychoactive drugs, for example, can undergo severe changes in the brain that contribute to depression that persists months, if not years after they stop using them. However, even further study is needed before the correlation between substance usage and long-term mental health disorders can be established.

Breaking the Connection

Care will make a significant impact, regardless of whether the addiction or psychiatric disorder came first. Individuals will hear more about how to maintain these disorders under management through a Dual Diagnosis plan, plus they’ll get the help they need to make long-term improvements.

If you have been diagnosed with both mental health disorders and addiction, your recovery program should resolve both issues simultaneously. Mental health – If you suffer from a mental health condition, the treatment plan includes a combination of therapy, medication, behavioural changes, and peer support. Addiction – To cure your addiction, you must first detox from all drugs. Then, a medical team will assist you in managing withdrawal symptoms and making the required lifestyle changes. Another critical aspect of addiction treatment is group support.

It is highly recommended that you choose a treatment facility specializing in co-occurring disorders. You may receive recommendations from your doctor. Check to ensure that the program you are considering is accredited and licensed. Also, inquire about possible aftercare programs. Depression and anxiety are two common symptoms of the second stage of withdrawal, which may last several months. You’ll need an action plan for managing those symptoms along with treatment. Though treating a mental health disorder combined with an addiction may be more challenging, do not lose heart. There are many healthcare professionals qualified to assist you during this process. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, it is crucial to seek professional advice. Our Resource Specialists can assist you in locating expert mental health resources in your community to recover. For more information, please contact us now regarding any help for mental health disorders.